Monday, March 12, 2012

howard rheingold

just finished Howard's Net Smart

how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and above all minduflly..

today's digital literacies can make the diff between being empowered or manipulated, serene or frenetic

five literacies he shares (and has a uni and hs syllabus to share as well)

  • intentional attention - intention is the fuel of attention
  • networked individualism, breathing is the regulator of attention, if you don't know how to be alone, you will always be longely..turkle
  • democratization enables vulgarization, mindfulness is most important practice for anyone trying to swim through infostream, instead of being swept away by it, 
  • do what you normally do, just do it with awareness

crap detection:

  • don't refuse to believe, refuse to start out believing
  • those who contribute info online, show higher levels of concern about credibility. a 10 yr old online game enthusiast or videoblogger may do more sophisticated credibility testing than an 18 yr old uni student who doesn't use the web much
  • i might add credibility ... if verified prof, md or phd, but i wouldn't subtract it from people w/o credentials whose expertise seems authentic
  • journalism is becoming something more akin to a network than a guild
  • not drowning is not the same as swimming..
  • expertise in recognizing expertise


  • messing around - friendship driven community
  • geeking out - interest driven community
  • media sharing and production as a form of social currency
  • am i drunk on participation, or cashing in on it..
  • a mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change
  • learn to ignore trolls (nasties) and pay attention to critics; they are your teachers, giving you free advice
  • curation is short for - we are all each other's filter
  • google itself is not the curator, we are
  • godin: if we live in a world where info drives what we do, the info we get becomes the most important thing. the person who chooses that info has power.
  • pic something very specific and become the world authority on it.. own that small niche
  • you can't easily erase bad talk about you online, better to dilute it with good talk - boyd
  • the successful use of twitter depends on knowing how to tune the network of people you follow, and how to feed the network of people you follow  - twitter is a flow


  • tim berners lee and web, he didn't want to own it, he wanted to use it
  • the lack of a need for either permission or rewiring was possible because lee was into collabing
  • socia norms of trust, sharing, and reciprocity enables people to accomplish tasks together in novel ways
  • paying attention to each other - literally the ability to look where another person is pointing. the multiple person attention dance known as learning is our species most powerful invention
  • trust lubricates markets
  • wayne macphail - prof in canada: you need coordination to dance, cooperation to dance with a partner, and collaboration to dance with a flash mob
  • move from mutual benefit to common purpose
  • interdependence
  • the ability to thrive in a chaotic collaborative environment: emergensight
  • collaboration radar, sixth sense about who would make the best collaborators on a particular task
  • joi ito: if you've never read any business case histories, but you've run a guild, or organized a raid, or spent time resolving drama and disputes in w of w, your mind-set is well prepared for the real world in a very different way than a college mba would be prepared to run a company
  • collective intelligence: nobody knows everything, everyone knows something, everything is shared/accessible to all
  • knowing the diff between a community and a network is as critical socially as crap detection is essential informationally
  • assume goodwill
  • jeff howe, wired mag, gave the name crowdsourcing to the phenomenon of breaking problems or tasks in to small pieces, and then making an open call for voluntary participation
  • businesses inviting customers to help design products (duke, davidson, ipods)
  • empower people to experiment - weber
  • make it easy for people to contribute
  • if you can let yourself be filled with the love for that shared goal, you can get past a lot of editing differences - wales, wikipedia
  • antoine de saint exupery: if you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea
  • if more people repair vandalism than commit it, then the system becomes robust even it, paradoxically, it remains vulnerable (boyd-ish again)
  • the key value of wikipedia is its transparency (if teachers could embrace wikipedia more, we could be practicing critical thinking more)
  • fear inactivity more than making mistakes

network smarts:

  • christakis: the surprising implication is that at least part of your happiness might depend on people you never met, network awareness might be vital to your health and happiness
  • exponentiality.. many to many
  • in a network dominated by linear connectivity value growth, content is king (sarnoff)
  • in a network that is squared or parabolic - transactions become central (metcalf)
  • in a network that is exponential - jointly constructed value is central (reed)
  • in social systems, the amount of centrality (how well the node interconnects people in diff parts of networks) can be more powerful than the degree or number of ties
  • my research mehodology - stumble on something, become curious, ask others, and then look where others point.
  • shift from a group-centric sociality to what wellman calls networked individualism (interdependency i'm thinking)  - rather than relying on a single community for social capital, individuals often must actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for diff situations  - the person has become the portal
  • most important criteria for getting help, help others, pay it forward, we have hard data on that.
  • innovation depends on continual informal interaction in cafes and bars and on the street
  • unlike financial capital, trust increases when you use it and becomes depleted if not used
  • success also depends on how different the people you know are from each other
  • as parents are panicking, teens have been learning

  • there is no single recipe for a mindful life in the digital mediasphere; reflection is required (detox)
  • today, how you know who you know matters as much as who you know, .... who knows who knows what...
  • baron - change - good or bad - in language, thought, and society depends ultimately on individual choice.
  • spike in oxytocin occurs after using twitter for 10 min
  • attention literacy is reflective. crap detection is analytic. participation is deliberate.

thank you much Howard...